We completed a whole school mural project in May 2014, under the direction of Ms. Dunne and local Artist Donna Kearns. The mural is based on the legend of how Loughmore (Luachma) got its name. Part one of the mural depicts the actual story, while part two illustrates the reward field itself, filled with local flora and fauna and wildlife. Every child in the school (79 pupils) completed part of this mural and many of the staff, past and present, also proudly made their mark on this beautiful project for posterity. The mural was designed by Donna in collaboration with pupils and staff and completed under her guidance, encouragement and tutelage.
How Loughmore got its Name…
Loughmore Castle in years gone by was owned by a king whose name unfortunately is unknown. Now the king had a very big problem or, should I say, two problems, in the shape of a boar and sow of gigantic size who spread terror through the land as they constantly uprooted the crops and killed whomsoever they met with. The king naturally desired to be rid of such unwholesome subjects and promised that their slayer would receive as reward the hand of his only daughter, the castle and as much of the adjacent land as he wished. Many men went forth on this perilous errand but one and all met with the same terrible fate.
At last a youth named Purcell arrived at the castle and craved permission to attack the monsters, which was readily though not hopefully granted. Purcell was told that the boar had moved away to a distant part of the forest while the sow had betaken herself to a place called Coolaculla to rear her young brood. He went in search of her, not walking on the ground but going from branch to branch and from tree to tree, so dense was the forest, till finally he arrived over the spot where she lay. So thick was her skin that the arrow refused to penetrate it, while she, roused to fury, rushed to the tree in which Purcell was, roaring and bellowing in her rage. Seeing that it was of no avail to attempt to pierce her body, he waited his opportunity, and, when her mouth was wide open, he sent a shaft straight down her throat. She uttered one tremendous roar and fell on her side dead.
The boar hearing her death cry came like a hurricane through the wood in the direction of the sound, brushing aside the trees in his path as if they were blades of grass. When he arrived at the spot and caught sight of the dead sow and her slayer, his rage knew no bounds. He reared up on his hind legs against the tree and shook it to and fro in his endeavour to uproot it. Purcell, however seeing that he too was only vulnerable in the one spot bided his time, and sent an arrow between his jaws. At this the boar turned tail, rushed off through the forest, and finally died at some unnamed locality beyond Thurles. In proof there is to be seen the stone on which is carved the boar, and sow and the boneens. This emblem became the Purcell coat of arms. Thus Purcell won the prize and Loughmore its name – Luachma (Reward Field).
In this part of the mural we see artistic examples of the flora, fauna and wildlife of Loughmore NS and its environs. Local native wild animals such as the fox, long-eared owl, otter and the rabbit are depicted. The heron, kingfisher, swan, pheasant and other beautiful native birds can also be seen. There are frogs, dragonflies, salmon and very many primroses, pond weed, wild brambles, and native trees and shrubs. Loughmore is steeped in as much environmental treasures as its heritage and culture, and therefore we felt it was important to depict this in our mural.